Miscellaneous Bramalea Articles and Advetisements from the 1980s and 1990s

Below are a series of articles and advertisements about Bramalea Limited from the 1980s and 1990s. They show the rise and success of the company as it rapidly expanded beyond the borders of Bramalea itself, but then start to become more negative as the company struggled in the mid-1990s, ending in bankruptcy. The last newspaper image below is perhaps the most tragic of all, as it is an auction notice to sell off the very last remains of the company’s assets, including office furniture.

25Aug84

Toronto Star, August 25, 1984

87aug8

Toronto Star, August 8, 1987

87jun27

Toronto Star, June 27, 198788jul9

Toronto Star, July 9, 198888may28

Toronto Star, May 28, 198892feb22

Toronto Star, February 22, 199292nov21

Toronto Star, November 21, 199292oct17

Toronto Star, October 17, 199293feb27

Toronto Star, February 27, 199395apr27

Toronto Star, April 27, 199595mar31

Toronto Star, March 31, 199595mar31b95may21

Toronto Star, May 21, 1995

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Historical Newspaper Articles on Bramalea

I recently realized that I have a number of general newspaper articles on Bramalea that should be shared on the blog. They are great snapshots of the history of Bramalea and the company that built the city. Below are a handful of articles from the 1950s and 1960s:

58may14

Toronto Daily Star, May 14, 1959

58nov15-gm

The Globe and Mail, November 15, 1958

61jun16

Toronto Daily Star, June 16, 1961

 

64jan17

Toronto Daily Star, January 17, 1964

65mar31

Toronto Daily Star, March 1, 1965

 

68may31

Toronto Daily Star, May 31, 1968

69aug2

Toronto Daily Star, August 2, 1969

69aug23

Toronto Daily Star, August 23, 1969

69may14

69may14a

Toronto Daily Star, May 14, 1969

69sept12

Toronto Daily Star, September 12, 1969

Hampton Landing by the Lake

When: Built circa 1996

Where: Provincial Place

Who: Begun by Bramalea Limited, but completed by Aspen Ridge Homes

What I Know: I cannot remember if Bramalea Limited actually begun construction in 1994/1995 before they went Bankrupt. I do remember visiting the model homes at the site in 1996 when Aspen Ridge Homes took over.

The format of these plans are large – 22 x 17 inches when opened, so they were a challenge to scan! I am not sure why builders moved to the format (many still have large plans), but they sure do make them hard to store, scan and share.

I am missing the plans for TH6 shown on the site plan (I am not sure what the name of the plan was), so if any of my readers has the plan I would love to add it. Also, if anyone has the original marketing materials from when Bramalea Limited had the project they would be good to share. I have always wondered if they had the exact same floor plans – as the images in the newspaper advertisements look the same.

The townhomes in this area are designed with tunnels leading from the back of the garage or basement to the yard allowing access for bringing a lawnmower through. This design element removes the need for right-of-way access through adjacent back yards as is the case in some freehold townhouse developments.

94oct1
Toronto Star, October 1, 1994
94oct22
Toronto Star, October 22, 1994

94oct22a

95jan14
Toronto Star, January 14, 1995

 

95feb25
Toronto Star, February 25, 1995
96may4
Toronto Star, May 4, 1996
image-2
This site plan from 1988 appears to be for condominium towers proposed for the site. I seem to recall reading or hearing about how there was local backlash towards this proposal as towers were seen as inappropriate for the area with its low-density housing.
image
I am not sure where this article if from, but I found it among the plans I have for the P-Section.

2224_0012224_002

2225_0012226_0012226_0022226_0032226_0042226_0052226_0062226_0072226_0082226_0092227_0012227_0022227_0032227_0042227_0052227_0062227_0072227_0082228_0012228_0022228_0032228_0042228_0052228_0062228_0072228_008

 

 

Anatomy of a Plan – Journey’s End

It has been a really long time since I published an installment in my “Anatomy of a Plan” series, so here is a new one!

During the early years of Bramalea, one of the more popular bungalow designs was called the Journey’s End. The layout had a lasting legacy in Bramalea, as many of the bungalow and back-split designs built over the years are a variation on this design.

i

j
c. 1964-1967, B and D-Section.

The layout of the Journey’s End has an L-Shaped living and dining room combination, with the kitchen tucked in to the crux of the L shape and the entry and staircase beside the living room. At the back of the house are 3 bedrooms, with the bathroom located behind the kitchen. Much like many designs in Bramalea, the roots of such a layout can be found in the historic Foursquare plan for 2-storey houses (see the post on my other blog: The Enduring Foursquare). This 2-storey layout was essentially adapted to a one-storey design with the bedrooms placed behind the living spaces instead of above them. Please also see my older post on the Raised Bungalow in Bramalea.

A key feature of this design is that there is a back door located behind the staircase to the basement. As you will see, in later (and narrower) incarnations of this design a back door is not possible, so the only way to the back yard is often only through a side door. This is common issue with many bungalow and back-split designs with the bedrooms at the back of the house.

The basic layout of the Journey’s End was reproduced well in to the 1970s under different names, but with the same basic layout:

016

c. 1970-1972, G-Section.

004
c. 1971-1972, G-Section.
e
c. 1970s, M-Section.

The Journey’s End design was also adapted as a back-split. The layout is similar, except for the stairs are moved to the middle of the house to link the change in levels at the back of the plan. The door to the yard is now a side door tucked in behind the garage with access to the basement stairs.

0052c. 1964-1965, B-Section.

003
c. 1971-1972, G-Section.

The Prides Fancy design below is slightly different as the bathroom is located behind the dining room, but still follows the same basic layout. Unfortunately, my only copy of the plan is cut off at the top.

0062
c. 1964-1965, B-Section.

In some of the back-split variations, the garage is moved to the living room side of the house.

018
c. 1970-1972, G-Section.

c

d
c. 1972, G-Section.
f (2)
c. 1970s, M-Section.

The layout was also adapted as a semi-detached design in both bungalow and back-split versions, both with and without a garage. Notice how the Vanity Flair design does not have a back door to the yard; instead there is a side door near the front of the house.

f
1962-1965, C and D-Section.

Many semi-detached variations of the design have the bathroom behind the kitchen or staircase, yet the same L-shape arrangement of living and dining rooms remain.

t
c. 1962-1965, C and D-Section.
l (2)
c. 1962-1965, C and D-Section.
003 (2)
c. 1971-1972, G-Section.
004 (2)

c. 1971-1972, G-Section.

005 (3)

c. 1971-1972, G-Section.

By the 1980s the popularity of such a design for newly-built houses in Bramalea began to wane as bungalows and split level houses became less common. Yet, hints of the basic layout still appeared in some designs:

001

c. 1979-1980, P-Section/Professor’s Lake.

026

027

c. 1980-1982, L-Section.

There are likely many other designs in Bramalea similar to the Journey’s End – these are just a sampling. If you know of any others, I would love to hear from you!

Times have changed…and so have standard features in houses.

Today when you buy a new house the builder may highlight their standard features such as hardwood floors, 9-foot ceilings or granite counters – but in the past standard features for houses were quite different. In some cases the features that were advertised may now be viewed as negatives. I pulled a handful of old marketing material for houses in Bramalea, and here is what I found – hopefully some of these will take you down memory lane!

Also, you can click on the neighbourhood names to link to the full posts on each area.

a

Advertisement for houses in the A-Section (early 1960s). At the time wall paneling was a highlight and storm windows were common.

aa 65-67

Southgate Village in the D-Section (1965-1967). I am actually impressed that the houses came with shrubs! Some designs came with electric heating and carports…both of which may not seem like highlights today.

b 69-72

Bramalea Townhouses in parts of the C, D and F-Sections (1970-1972). Drapery tracks were included!

c

Westgate in the B-Section (1964-1965). I am not sure what a “Hollywood style vanity” is. At the time coloured bathroom fixtures and linoleum tiles were considered good standard features.

d

Bramalea in Southdown Estates in Mississauga (c. 1972) – although similar plans were built in Bramalea. Aluminum siding was worthy of mention.

e

Also from Southdown Estates. Formica and Arborite were seen as a plus as they are easy-to-clean!

f

A final Southdown Estates example. Vinyl asbestos flooring! Eek! I am not sure that similar models built in Bramalea had this type of flooring…but it is possible.

g

Bay Meadows in the M-Section (1976), and the design was likely also built in Other areas of Bramalea. What is a “post-formed” laminate counter?

h the strand 81-82

The Strand in the J and N-Sections (1981-1983). Quality broadloom, vinyl flooring and aluminium siding were all seen as worthy of mention as standard features.

hh blue mount 81-82

Blue Mount Estates in the L-Section (1980-1982). A paneled recreation room was seen as a good thing (I remember the one we had when I was a kid!), as well as a dropped ceiling with florescent lighting in the kitchen (remember the so-called “Florida ceilings”!).

i showcase 2000 82

Showcase 2000 in the section without a letter (1982). What is a “hammered Swedish steel picket”? Also, remember when dishwashers were not standard and houses came with a cupboard that you could remove to add one if you wanted.

j columbus bay 83-84

Columbus Bay in the P-Section (1982-1985). Here upgrades included stippled ceilings, arborite or formica counters, a smoke detector (just one), and a coloured exhaust hood fan (I wonder how many colours they offered?).

l 1988 NEW

Nortonville Estates West in the L-Section (1988). Back when having a bidet and wet bar were popular.

Thirty or so years from now I am sure we will look back and muse about the standard features in houses built today!

 

The Heart Lake Mystery

I have a bit of a mystery that perhaps my readers can help me solve. As far as I know Bramalea Limited never built in the Villages of Heart Lake area of Brampton during the 1970s. Yet, there is one semi-detached paring in that area that is a carbon-copy of Bramalea Limited’s plans built in the L-Section of Bramalea (specifically, in the Moore Park and Bramalea Estates Semis neighbourhoods).

So, did a builder completely copy the design…or did Bramalea Limited just built this one pair for some reason?

Below is the pair in the Villages of Heart Lake:

amberwood sq

Here are two images of the same design in Bramalea (with updated windows):Laurelcrest leacrest

Bramalea Limited also built the same design in Amberlea, Pickering, as shown below.

pickering Shadybrook

Below is a portion of an article from 1977 showing the model homes for Bramalea Estates Semis showing the design on the left.

77nov5

Toronto Star, November 5, 1977

I would love to read any insights or theories from my blog readers.

The Section without a letter

Located just west of the B-Section is a small pocket of houses in an area that does not fall under any of the letter sections. The streets in the area start with all sorts of letters: Floribunda, Terese, Sandringham, Carleton, Lincoln, Franklin, Lisa and Silver Maple. I have no idea why this area was never assigned a letter…If anyone knows why, please let me know!
map2

master plan

legend

According to the 1969 Master plan the area was to have high density housing along what became Lisa Street, medium density just south of Clark Boulevard (where townhouses were eventually built) and low density housing in the southern portion (where detached houses were built), plus a school. Aside from the school that was never built, the area was built similarly to the plan, although townhouses were also built in part of the area slated as low density housing.

The north section along Lisa Street is lined with residential towers as seen in my posting on Lisa Street. This area could almost be an extension of the L-Section to the north, yet Silver Maple Court does not fit in with this theory.

I do not have much information on the townhouses, except for this Toronto Star advertisement from January 28, 1978 for an area called “Orchard Place”. I recall my parents telling me that there were apple orchards in the area, so I assume the name came from what the area used to be.

78jan28

Some of the townhouses along Carleton Place are staggered, creating an interesting streetscape (image courtesy of Google Maps):
carleton

The detached houses in the area were built as part of Showcase 2000. The yards behind some of these houses are quite large and there is a forested area at the heart of the neighbourhood (image courtesy of Google Maps):
floribundaI wish I knew more about this area, so if anyone has any information and/or stories please do share!

Bramalea Limited Advertisements from the late 1980s

Below is a sampling of Bramalea Limited advertisements from the 1980s. There were many versions…but here are just a few to bring you back to a time when Bramalea Limited was still going strong as one of North Americas largest real estate companies. All of the advertisements are from 1987, except for the last one from 1989.

003

001

The house shown above is the Windsor plan built in the Master’s Series in Deerchase in the N-Section. I did a previous post on this type of L-Shaped plan built by Bramalea Limited.

004

005

Assuming the photo above was taken in Bramalea (and not one of Bramalea Limited’s other building sites), my guess is that it is the Trail Ridge area in the N-Section. The houses with the pointed backs appear to be the Kingsmere plan and the house to the far right is likely the Vega plan. But it is just a guess…

006

002

I am partial to this advertisement as I rarely see the name “Saul” in print!

I am back in action!

It has been a long and grueling few months of battling cancer and having a stem-cell transplant, but I am on the mend and I feel great! A special thank you for all of the thoughts, prayers and encouraging messages!

It is time to start blogging again and I have more great postings to share.

As my readers know, I am always on the lookout for missing floor plans and information on Bramalea. Over the past little while I have been delighted to receive a handful of plans that I am missing, so I wanted to share them below. Interestingly, it turns out that they are all from the L-Section. For those of you who might be new to my blog, I have a post dedicated to plans I am missing from my collection: Missing floor plans needed! Please keep them coming!

This plan is from Nortonville Estates West – Broles:

buckhorn

buckhorn plan

From Moore Park (the area where I grew up) in the L-Section. This is the only plan that I have for the houses in that area!

moore pk

moore pk plan

This plan is from the Laura Court and Lime Ridge Drive area. For some reason it would only upload sideways… As I suspected, it is one of the same plans from the Master’s Series in Deerchase. It appears that the other houses in the area were also built from the same plans as those in the N-Section.lime ridge and laura 2

 More blog posts to come…stay tuned!